*****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*****
November 9, 2000
Yellow Cat Productions of Washington, DC, is proud to announce the
release of their latest documentary,
FREEDOM FIGHTER: The Story of Lian Shengde
(50 minutes) ©2000 Yellow Cat Productions
Directed by Mary Flannery
Director of Photography: Michael Cormier
The grand premiere will take place at:
1927 Florida Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 22009
just north of Dupont Circle
Wednesday, November 29th, 2000
$10.00 tickets--to benefit Free China Movement
Lian Shengde will be present for questions afterwards. Mr. Lian,
resides in Herndon, Virginia, is the founder and Executive Director of
Free China Movement, a Washington-based coalition of 30 dissident
The life of young Lian Shengde was altered forever when he was arrested
in June, 1989, for his leadership role in the Tiananmen Square uprising.
In FREEDOM FIGHTER Shengde tells his life story--beginning with his
childhood in Chengdu during the Cultural Revolution. He reminisces
about his social and political awakening in the late 1980's as a student
at the University of Tianjin; his activities at Tiananmen Square; his
arrest and subsequent incarceration in Qinchen Prison--with no due
process of law and no idea how long he would be locked up; the hardships
he endured when he tried to resume his life in China after 18 months of
imprisonment; and we see him in action in the Washington area, as he
continues to fight for individual freedom in his homeland.
"I thought by telling the story of one man, that Americans would gain a
greater appreciation for the difficulties that ordinary Chinese face in
their day-to-day lives," says director Mary Flannery. "Shengde really
impressed me with his dedication to the freedom cause. Here's a guy who
was leading a quiet life, studying computer science in Tianjin, when
suddenly his whole world turned upside down. Now he lives in exile,
with no forseeable means of returning to China. His parents, his
brother and sister have been refused passports to come and visit him.
It's really sad. And this is just one example. There must be thousands
more stories just like his."
The video was filmed entirely in Washington, DC, with no outside
funding. Mary Flannery, who directed and edited the documentary,
artfully uses stock footage of the Mao years, (obtained from National
Archives), and old propaganda posters to evoke Lian's past. His prison
years are re-enacted in a delapidated bathroom. We see him in America
speaking to a group of university students, visiting congressmen on
Capitol Hill, and leading groups of protesters around Washington, DC, as
part of his ongoing battle against human rights abuses in China.
FREEDOM FIGHTER is being distributed by Advantage Media Group of
Ellicott City, Maryland. They are seeking international broadcast
venues for the program. Meanwhile, Yellow Cat Productions is selling
VHS copies--in both Chinese and English--via the internet.
The video costs US$34.95. VISA and MasterCard are accepted.
For more information, or to obtain a copy, contact Mary Flannery at
Yellow Cat Productions. Or visit the Yellow Cat website:
"FREEDOM FIGHTER vividly conveys the excitement, commitment and idealism
of young people swept up in a grass-roots movement to achieve political
change in China in 1989. "
Professor of Chinese History at Boston University
"Subtle and compelling--a true-to life portrait of one man's odyssey
from student to pro-democracy fighter. Lian Shengde's memory of being
whisked off to prison without being able to say goodbye to his anxious
father is heartbreaking. But FREEDOM FIGHTER ends on an optimistic
note: Lian at home in America with a loving wife, awaiting the birth of
his first child--and still fighting the good fight."
Author of RED CHINA BLUES and former correspondent for the GLOBE &
For more information, contact:
Yellow Cat Productions
505 11th Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003